Local News

Fayetteville Council Woman Received Death Threats

Posted September 10, 1997

— Politicians often feel like target because they're in the public eye, and because they have a lot of influence. They're singled out by lobbyists, other politicians, and television ads, as well as the general public.

But it's gone even farther for a council woman in Fayetteville who says she has received death threats.Police have launched an investigation.

City police have dropped their investigation at the request of the council member, Ida Ross. She says the threats are very real, but she doesn't have any faith in the police department getting to the bottom of those threats.

Ross says she's been getting threats on and off for years, but that it got much worse about six months ago. That's about the time Ross was among a majority of council voting to investigate the city's police department and to fire the city manager. Since then, Ross says she's gotten letters and phone calls with racial slurs and serious threats.

Last week, Ross brought up the subject of the threats during a council meeting. She told council she takes the threats seriously.

Fayetteville police quickly launched an investigation. Major Robert Shambley of the police force says a serious attempt is being made to find out who is behind the threats against Ross.

Ross has told the police not to bother with an investigation.

Ross said she has contacted federal authorities about the threats, but there's no indication of any active investigation. As for Fayetteville police, they're hands are tied if Ross doesn't want their help.

Photographer:Rick Allen

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